Incorporation Transparency

FACT Sheet: Use of Anonymous Companies Cause Widespread Harm

The conversation about the dangers of anonymous companies has largely focused on corrupt foreign leaders and threats to national security, human trafficking, and disruption to business. Additional harms include bidding up prices that fuel the loss of affordable housing, environmental degradation, and tax evasion.

Read More...

The Anonymous Companies That Protect Human Traffickers

By Allison Agoglia

Human trafficking is one of the most insidious crimes in our world today.  It’s a business that profits on depriving basic rights — buying and selling them for forced labor or sexual exploitation. Unfortunately, it is the third-or fourth-largest illegal industry in the world (depending on how one measures) — and one that is growing rapidly.  It is estimated to amount to $150 billion in profits each year while keeping 21 million people in slavery — at least that we know of.

Human traffickers hide in the shadows, making them extremely elusive to authorities. Vanessa Chauhan, a strategic engagement adviser at Polaris and FACT Coalition member, says, “It’s a hidden crime and unless you’re looking for it, you’re not going to find it.”  To remain hidden, some traffickers use illicit schemes, including complex webs of anonymous companies, that allow them to quietly launder the proceeds from their illicit activity and shield them from accountability.

Read More...

New Report: Anti-Money Laundering Efforts Near Failure

Former Treasury Agent Urges Authorities to Target the Drivers of Human Trafficking, Drug Smuggling, and Corruption

Ending Anonymous Companies; Trade Transparency Units; Holding Gatekeepers Accountable Among Policy Recommendations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Worldwide anti-money laundering efforts are currently just a decimal point away from total failure, according to a new report published Tuesday by the FACT Coalition.

Read More...

Countering International Money Laundering

Worldwide anti-money laundering efforts are currently just a decimal point away from total failure, according to this August 2017 report published by the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT Coalition).

Authored by former Treasury Special Agent John Cassara, an internationally renown expert on financial crime, the study details the near failure of current efforts to combat money laundering and the rationale for comprehensive reform.

Read More...

FinCEN Real Estate Effort Underscores Need to End Anonymous Companies

Statement by the FACT Coalition on Treasury Department Decision to Renew and Expand Geographic Targeting Orders to Identify Buyers in Luxury Real Estate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a branch of the U.S. Treasury Department, announced Tuesday that it was renewing and expanding its temporary orders seeking to uncover illicit activity in the luxury real estate sector.

Read More...

FACT Sheet: Business Case for Ending Anonymous Companies

Anonymous companies are behind just about every financial crime.  They are the vehicle of choice for laundering money obtained through illicit activity.  Schemes involving terror financing and the trafficking of drugs, illegal weapons, and humans all use anonymous companies to move money, fund operations, and allow bad actors to escape with the proceeds of their crimes and impunity.

The pervasive use of secret shell companies has also begun to impact the broader economy.  As such, more and more businesses are speaking out.

Read More...

FACT Sheet: Anonymous Companies and National Security

The 2016 release of the Panama Papers was an avalanche of data on the nefarious use of anonymous companies for corrupt activities.  The leak showed that shell companies can represent an important nexus of corruption, money laundering, transnational organized crime, and terrorism, all of which directly harm U.S. foreign policy interests. Such companies have been used to divert U.S. security and overseas development funds from their intended purposes into the hands of those who seek to do the United States harm, and they can help fund the very insurgents and terrorists U.S. troops are fighting.

Read More...

FACT Sheet: Anonymous Shell Companies (August 2017)

America Is the Easiest Country in the World in which to Form an Anonymous Shell Company.

Creating a U.S. shell company takes less information than acquiring a library card.  A 2015 academic study found that the U.S. is the easiest country in the world for terrorists and criminals to open anonymous shell companies to launder their money with impunity.

Read More...